Geely acquires United States flying vehicle company Terrafugia

Group Lotus owner snaps up flying car maker

Today, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, owner of Volvo Car, announced that it has reached an agreement with Terrafugia Inc.to acquire the activities and assets of the United States company.

Geely, which owns a stake in national carmaker Proton, said it had received the necessary approval for the deal, including from the U.S. government's Committee on Foreign Investment, to take over all of Terrafugia's operations and assets.

Zhejiang Geely, owner of the Volvo and Lotus vehicle brands, pledged to strongly support Terrafugia in terms of scientific research and funding following the conclusion of the transaction.

Terrafugia, which aims to deliver its first flying auto to market in 2019, will continue to be based in America and Geely said it had already tripled the engineering team in preparation for the sale.

Terrafugia was founded in 2005 by five award-winning graduate engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chris Jaran, Terrafugia's newly appointed CEO, said the expansion of the company's R&D capabilities would be prioritized, according to Xinhuanet.

It said it was targeting 280,000 units of the model, to be assembled at the Proton plant in Tanjung Malim, for the Southeast Asian market.

People may dream of flying cars, especially when they are stuck in a traffic jam. "Now as part of Geely Holding Group, I am confident that we can reach that vision and subsequent commercial success by utilizing the groups' shared global synergy".

Meanwhile, Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich is staying on as the company's chief technology officer. He said in a statement that the investment "reflects our shared belief in their vision and we are committed to extending our full support to Terrafugia, leveraging the synergies provided by our worldwide operations and track record of innovation, to make the flying vehicle a reality".

Geely says it's investing in Terrafugia to make flying cars a reality.

The stock market responded positively to the news.

However, the company did not disclose any financial details concerning the deal, The China Daily newspaper reported today. Geely isn't even the first automaker to be associated with flying cars.

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